:sync: COVID-19 Pandemic & Open Educational Resources: A Study of Impact

Author: Cathy Casserly

Topic: Applications of Open Education Practices/Open Pedagogy/Open Education Research
Sector: K-12
UNESCO Area of Focus: Developing supportive policy
Session Format: Presentation


Education has been disrupted at an unprecedented level as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Across the globe, 9 out of 10 children are out-of-school according to UNESCO. As a result, educators have been forced into a harsh quick pivot under crisis conditions. For most K-12 and higher education systems in the United States and across the globe, this is their first foray into distance learning. And not unexpectedly, better resourced communities and students from higher income families will be better able to endure this learning disruption thereby further amplifying existing inequalities.

This pandemic and associated economic depression raise the question of what can be learned from this moment of forced natural experimentation, particularly with respect to OER and OEP and the sudden upswing of sharing and curation for online learning. It is important to map, analyze and assess how this jolt is impacting educational systems and students.

OER and OEP strategies were developed based on the expected rate of adaptation to change in education. With the COVID-19 pandemic forcefully disrupting business as usual, there now exists a unique moment to study how this inflection point accelerates the velocity of innovation change.

It is anticipated the pandemic, and associated deep recession, are likely to have a sustained impact as educational systems deal with the possibility of multiple COVID-19 waves in local communities, devastating pressure on budgets, and continued demand for digital or digitally enabled instruction. While the system is now functioning in crisis mode, there needs to be longer term planning to grapple with, and tackle, evolving challenges. Thus, now is the time to assess how the pandemic potentially impacts strategic approaches to OER and OEP to ensure resources are optimally targeted.


OER, OEP, Research

Hello Cathy,

I’ll be your tech facilitator for your session.

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If there is anything you need from us, please let us know! Thanks for being part of the conference.

Thanks Kristina and Marcela for all your support. Looking forward to a terrific discussion.

Hi OEG Conference Participants. I look forward to the session today and your participation. Post session - feel free to reach out to continue the discussion. Cheers, Cathy

Here is a link to the slides and I will add to dropbox.


Here’s the recording of the session for those who want to review it, or for those who missed it :async: